In 2006, Attorney Sheryl N. Cole was the first and only African American woman elected at-large to the City of Austin's City Council. She has been a resident of Austin for over 30 years. Sheryl earned her B.B.A. in Accounting from the University of Texas at Austin and became a Certified Public Accountant while working for Ernst & Whinney in its Houston and San Francisco Offices. Sheryl returned to Austin to attend the University of Texas School of Law and earned her J.D. in 1991. She and her husband Kevin, an Attorney, have three sons, Nelson, Marcus, and Femi.


Prior Employment:

City of Austin, Texas  

  • City Council Member May 2006 - Jan. 2015

  • Mayor Pro Tem  June 2011- Jan. 2015

Cole & Powell, P.C. - Associate Legal Counsel 2002 - 2006

  • Handled a litigation docket primarily consisting of insurance defense lawsuits.
  • Increased development of new clients through outreach and collaboration with community.

 Texas Municipal League – Associate General Counsel  1994 - 2000 

  • Provided legal advice to City officials throughout the State of Texas.
  • Created the first Public Funds and Investment Act Handbook.

 Wright & Greenhill – Litigation Associate  1991 - 1993

  • Worked on insurance defense docket including insurance coverage opinions.

 Ernst & Whinney – Houston, Texas and San Francisco, California,

  • Senior Staff Accountant,1986 - 1988
  • Performed external audits of corporations and nonprofits.

 Education:

  • Doctor of Jurisprudence, University of Texas School of Law, 1991
  • Bachelor of Business Administration, University of Texas at Austin Texas, 1986

 Licenses:  

  • Attorney and Counselor at Law, Supreme Court of Texas, 1991
  • Certified Public Accountant, Texas State Board of Public Accountancy, 1988
  • Certified Mediator, University of Texas Public Policy Institute, 2014

 Awards: 

  • Best Council Steward Award – The Austin Chronicle, 2006
  • Peacemaker Award - Dispute Resolution Center, 2009
  •  John and Kitty Holman Award – Nat. Alliance on Mental Illness, 2010
  • Outstanding Community Service Award – Texas Homeless Network, 2010
  • Distinguished Public Service Award – Nat.  Black Public Administrators, 2011
  • Outstanding Community Leader – Texas Legislative Black Caucus, 2013
  • Woman of the Year: Economic Empowerment – YWCA Greater Austin, 2014
  • Profile in Power Award – Austin Business Journal, 2013
  • Women of Courage Award – National Women’s Political Caucus, 2013 
  • Outstanding Community Service – End Chronic Homelessness Now, 2014
  • Travis County Democratic Party - Trio of Stars, 2015
  • Seedling Foundation - Fab Five, 2016

Boards:

  • Capital of Texas Media Foundation, 2015 - present
  • Downtown Austin Alliance, 2008-2014
  • Capitol Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, 2008-2014
  • Lone-Star Rail, 2008-2014
  • Joint City County AISD Coordinating Committee, 2006-2008
  • Austin Independent School District Bond Committee (Tri-Chair), 2004
  • Leadership Austin, 2003-2005 
  • Austin Area Urban League, 2005-2006 
  • Communities in Schools, 2005-2006
  • City of Austin Bond Committee,1998
  • Texas Municipal League Board of Directros
  • Planned Parenthood Board of Directors